§ 23. Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that since the beginning of the War an increase in wages amounting to more than £1,000,000,000 has been received by railway workers, he will state whether he has information to show what proportion of that increase has fallen directly upon the cost of production of goods for export or indirectly upon those goods through trades and industries co-operant with the exporting trades?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
I have no information, nor means of obtaining information, of the kind referred to by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of setting up a departmental inquiry into this matter, because it is evident these figures must have a great deal of bearing upon questions affecting our export trade?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
My hon. Friend adds up these figures and proceeds to relate them to the export trade. I am afraid that without a very considerable extension of the Statistical Department of the Board of Trade it would be impossible to provide all the details for which he asked; but I will see how far it may be possible to do that in any other way.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
Surely this very large sum has a very important bearing on our export trade. Why does not the right hon. Gentleman look into the question?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I am afraid we can never present a complete picture to this House without having compulsory powers to get more statistical material.